Let me explain why I said Guaita may have inspired this performance.
To really understand that statement and the weight of Ronaldo's performance, we have to understand the context of this derby.
One month before this match, Real Madrid had built a 10-point lead over their rivals Barcelona with Osasuna's aforementioned victory over the defending champions.
Then, just as the league looked to be over, Real Madrid began to show signs of weakness.
They ended up drawing their next two matches and losing four points in just three days. The next two matches were rather easy, and Real Madrid was able to slow its skid.
But then, in a nearly must-win match for Valencia, Vicente Guaita held the league's best team to a goalless draw.
The media went wild. Many saw that draw at the turning point in the title race. It allowed Barcelona to get within four points of the leaders, an unbelievable turnaround from the 10-point gap built just 30 days earlier.
It is in this setting that Cristiano Ronaldo silenced all critics. He had been criticized for not playing well in big matches. Well, there was no bigger match this season than the upcoming Madrid derby.
With Madrid reeling and Barcelona on fire, Real Madrid would need at least a draw against their cross-town rivals. A loss would have given Real just a one-point lead with the Clasico in 10 days.
When the final whistle had blown and the derby ended, Cristiano Ronaldo may have saved Real Madrid's season.
CR7 was a terror all night, but Atletico just kept fighting. Yet, despite the best efforts of Falcao, Ronaldo kept halting Atletico's momentum just when they were within reach of victory.
His first goal off a free kick was as perfect as any and was one of the 20 best goals of the season in La Liga.
The second was just as great as he used the most of a small opening at the top of the box. More importantly, it came 13 minutes after Falcao had leveled on a great header.
Then, as Atletico had taken all the momentum back and the rest of Real seemed to be looking over their shoulders at Barcelona, CR7 stepped up again with a converted penalty. That goal completed his hat trick and killed off Atletico.
Atletico's spirit may have been broken, but Real Madrid had been inspired.
The club went on to beat Barcelona to all but clinch the title and would not lose any points for the rest of the season.
And it was all because of Vicente Guaita. I suppose Ronaldo deserves a little credit as well.